Anti-Semitic graffiti in Los Angeles.
(photo credit: ADL)
The US saw a dramatic increase of violent anti-Semitic assaults, contributing to almost a 3 percent rise in the number of anti-Jewish incidents during 2015.
The Anti-Defamation League reported a total of 941 incidents recorded in the US during 2015, up from 912 in 2014.
The largest increase was in incidents at college campuses, which nearly doubled.
According to the ADL, 90 such anti-Semitic incidents were reported on 60 college campuses in 2015, whereas a total of only 47 incidents on 43 campuses were reported the previous year.
“We are disturbed that violent anti-Semitic incidents are rising, and we know that for every incident reported, there’s likely another that goes unreported,” ADL CEO Jonathan A.
Greenblatt said. “So even as the total incidents have remained statistically steady from year to year, the trend toward anti-Semitic violence is very concerning.”
The ADL reported that, while anti-Semitism had declined recently in the US overall – reaching a peak in 2006 with 1,554 incidents reported – the rising trend in campus anti-Semitism, violent assaults, anonymous online hate-speech, and incitement is greatly worrying.
“The good news is the number of anti-Semitic incidents overall are much lower than we witnessed in the mid-2000s,” said ADL chairman Marvin D.
Nathan. “While that decrease is encouraging, it is troubling that on average there is one anti-Semitic assault reported in this country every week, and at least two anti-Jewish incidents on average every single day.
“These numbers do not even account for all of the online harassment we see every hour on social media, which is so widespread it is difficult to quantify.”
Greenblatt noted that “Online hate is particularly disturbing, because of the ubiquity of social media and its deep penetration into our daily lives, plus the anonymity offered by certain platforms which facilitates this phenomenon.
“The issue has grown exponentially in recent years, because the Internet provides racists and bigots with an outlet to reach a potential audience of millions. We plan to adapt future versions of the Audit [of Anti-Semitic Incidents] to account for such online harassment.”
The ADL has recently formed a task force on Online Harassment and Journalism in an effort to monitor such activity and develop recommendations on how to respond to it. The task force is to release its findings and recommendations over the next three months.
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